By George Henry/The Associated Press
DULUTH, Ga. — Meghan Perkins scored 17 points, Daisha Simmons added 13 and Alabama beat Mississippi State 63-36 in the play-in game of the Southeastern Conference tournament on Wednesday night.
The Crimson Tide (13-17) won its first SEC tournament game since 2005. Alabama, the lowest seed at No. 13, will face fifth-seeded South Carolina on Thursday.
Darriel Gaynor finished with a team-high eight points for Mississippi State (13-17) as Alabama used a tight zone defense to double-team the ball-handlers and force the 12th-seeded Bulldogs to shoot 22.6 percent, their second-worst performance this season.
Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer called a 30-second timeout with 15:32 remaining after Alabama took a 12-point lead when Gaynor’s turnover led to a layup by Perkins.
Schaefer looked exasperated just a couple of seconds later as Kendra Grant’s turnover led to a jumper by Kaneisha Horn.
Mississippi State had just 10 assists with 20 turnovers.